What to Buy

19 Thoughtful Hostess Gifts If You're Visiting For Thanksgiving

It may not be a requirement, but it’s certainly thoughtful and appreciated.

August 13, 2021
Photo by Rocky Luten

There’s no formal rule that you need to bring your host a gift, but we’re still not ones to show up empty-handed—especially for something as major as Thanksgiving dinner. If you’ve decided to see family or friends for the holiday and you want to bring over a gift to show your gratitude and appreciation, we’ve got you covered.

As someone who’s been on the other side, I know that a ton of work goes into cleaning (before and after guests), decorating, cooking, and entertaining. And that’s not counting the potential disinfecting (and overthinking) due to the pandemic. Basically, hosts deserves an award but Thanksgiving hosts deserve one of everything below.

From cheeseboards and candles to cocktail shakers and board games, these gift ideas are handpicked with every kind of host in mind. Show up to Thanksgiving dinner with one of these gifts and you'll be guaranteed a seat next year—hopefully, without the pandemic as a plus-one.

1. Haus Sampler Kit, $50

When in doubt, bring some drinks so you and your host can celebrate years of friendship. If you've forgotten what they like after more than a year of lockdowns, this choose-your-own-adventure aperitif sampler kit should cover a little bit of everything so you can kick back and enjoy.

Photo by Haus

2. Capri Blue Ombre Faceted Glass Jar Candle, $34

This is the same scent that Anthropologie uses in all its stores, so chances are that they’ll recognize it immediately. Extra points for the beautiful pop of color on the jar, too.

Photo by Anthropologie

3. Food52 Five Two Ultimate Apron, $45

Your host will likely be running back and forth between the kitchen and dining room, carrying platters of food and drinks. Inevitably, spills are gonna happen. This sturdy apron has tons of smart features that will help them keep their cool—and their clothes stain-free.

Photo by Rocky Luten

4. Goldbelly Gift Card, $25+

An e-gift card to Goldbelly means they can shop for sweet treats, savory dishes, whatever else they’re craving. If you send it a week or two before Thanksgiving dinner, they can also use it to buy a side dish or even a main to save them time and effort—a win-win for everyone.

Photo by Goldbelly

5. Paddywax Yin-Yang Candle in Sea Moss & Sage, $36

These unique ceramic candles have two separate fragrances that work together or can stand solo, so they can customize the scent for dinner. Either way, it'll look great on the table.

Photo by Paddywax

6. Compact Swivel Cheese Board with Knives, $45-$69

This board folds into a wedge for ingenious storage and expands into a tiered serving station for cheese and appetizers. It’s perfect for a host who’s always short of a serving plate—so basically, every host.

Photo by Uncommon Goods

7. Crate & Barrel Framed Felt Letter Board, $32

Help your host welcome guests with a letter board that you can customize before gifting. They’ll find endless ways to use the board in their kitching, living room, home office, and more.

Photo by Crate & Barrel

8. The Wonderful Wine Co. The Starter Pack, $60

If the host is more of a wine person, grab a trio that includes a red, white, and rosé. They’re made with organic grapes, and are vegan, paleo-, and keto-friendly, too. You can ship the wines directly to dinner, so it’s one less thing for you to carry.

Photo by The Wonderful Wine Co.

9. Godinger Wine Decanter Carafe, $19.95 $17.99

A practical gift for any host who appreciates a glass or two, decanters can add a sophisticated touch to any table while enhancing their fave bottle of vino. This one is beautifully designed and has a wide base to aerate wine easily.

Photo by Amazon

10. Genius Desserts, by Kristen Miglore, $35

This cookbook is filled with tons of smart recipes for the sweetest treats. Some are so easy that you can bake them before dinner starts, or you’ll just have to come back next weekend—tough life, right?

Photo by Rocky Luten

11. Noah's Ark Art Deco Fan Shaker, $39

Help your host mix drinks in style with this Art Deco-inspired cocktail shaker, which is sure to stand out on their bar cart.

Photo by GlobeIn

12. Anthropologie Agate Coaster, $14

These colorful agate coasters are every host's dream at preventing dreaded water rings and stains.

Photo by Anthropologie

13. RSVP International Grey Marble Cooler, $23.95

This marble wine cooler will look gorgeous on any table while keeping the wine chilled. Bonus: it can also be used as an elegant utensil holder or even a vase after the bottle’s finished.

Photo by Amazon

14. Coppermill Kitchen Vintage-Inspired Copper Moscow Mule Mugs (Set of 4), $165

These hammered copper mugs act as glassware and decor with its major vintage vibes. The classic Moscow mule mug is perfect for any festive tablescape, even if there’s just water inside.

Photo by Rocky Luten

15. Pinzon Faux Fur Throw Blanket, $27.99

Used as an extra blanket for overnight guests or draped over their couch, this luxurious throw is equal parts practical and beautiful.

Photo by Amazon

16. Artisanal Kitchen Supply Marble Cheese Slicer, $19.99

You can’t have wine without cheese, we don't make the rules. That’s where this cheese slicer comes in handy, cutting thick or thin slices with ease and without the need for a second knife.

Photo by Bed Bath & Beyond

17. Biossance Your Clean Routine-Overachievers Kit, $58

This kit has all the pampering they deserve with a night serum, eye cream, moisturizer, repair cream, and rose oil. They can work them into their skin-care routine after the dishwasher's set.

Photo by Sephora

18. Mark & Graham Dipped Ceramic Pitcher, $29 $14.99-$29

A personalized vase either solo or with a bouquet of flowers is a no-fail gift. This one can be monogrammed for an extra thoughtful touch.

Photo by Mark & Graham

19. Printworks Backgammon Game, $48

A gift that the whole group can enjoy, everyone will want to play before, during, and after dinner.

Photo by Rocky Luten

What are your Thanksgiving plans this year? Let us know in the comments below!

This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. Food52 earns an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to.
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Larry Stansbury

Written by: Larry Stansbury

Freelance writer, pizza enthusiast, and Little Mix fan.